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You might have heard of Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas or read about how Native Americans consider these natural resources sacred.
But did you know that California also has hot springs, as do most states across the country? These healing waters may rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul.
If you venture out to the West Coast, California has dozens of resorts that give guests access to mineral springs.
Let’s look at 10 of the best hot springs in California so you can enjoy the relaxation and healing of soaking in a mineral pool. Let’s dive in!
What Are Hot Springs?
First, there are natural “untouched” hot springs and filtered and commercialized springs. Both types use natural resources, but commercial resorts must monitor the mineral springs by law to provide sanitary conditions for the public.
A natural hot spring, or a hydrothermal or geothermal spring, is produced when geothermally heated groundwater emerges to the surface.
Because the water comes from deep within the crust, hot springs have high concentrations of minerals that may include silica, calcium, iron, and lithium, among others.
Indigenous people have considered hot springs sacred, healing waters for thousands of years. Different cultures have used geothermal springs for rehabilitation and therapy worldwide.
Even today, people with arthritis, skin conditions, muscle aches, and other ailments claim that hot springs make them feel better.
Are Natural Hot Springs Sanitary?
Natural hot springs aren’t filtered. Because of this, they may have pathogens and disease-carrying bacteria.
Stagnant water is another concern. If the hot spring doesn’t get used very often, algae will start to grow.
But it’s unlikely that these are serious concerns of popular natural hot springs, especially in California.
How Hot Are Hot Springs?
Although temperatures can vary from location to location, hot springs generally reach 90 degrees or hotter.
However, the boiling springs at Yellowstone National Park aren’t considered hot springs. These geyser basins exceed 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Natural hot springs, where people have soaked for thousands of years to receive the healing touch of these mineral waters, usually stay between 95 to 104 degrees.
Best Resorts With Hot Springs in California
Not only can you enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the California landscape while soaking in one of these hot springs, but you can also enjoy other amenities and services like mud baths, saunas, on-site restaurants, and more.
These are the best resorts with hot springs in California that will help rejuvenate your soul.
1. Indian Springs
Address: 1712 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, CA 94515
Price: Pool passes cost $50 for day spa guests who book a 50-minute spa service. Otherwise, the pools and services remain reserved for Indian Springs Calistoga registered hotel guests.
Uniquely designed to take advantage of the land’s natural resources, Indian Springs Calistoga has four on-site thermal geysers that supply a constant stream of mineral water.
This water feeds into the mineral pool, steam rooms, and Buddha Pond. Guests of all ages can enjoy the 92 to 102-degree healing waters of the Olympic-size mineral pool.
Since a substantial deposit of pure volcanic ash runs through the property, the water and ash combine to create the mud for the mud baths.
Address: 55000 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920
Price: Prices vary based on programs and workshops. Day passes cost $357.
At Esalen Institute, guests can relax, enhance self-awareness, and facilitate the healing of the mind, body, and spirit. Here you can access healing classes, workshops, and activities in some of California’s best hot spring resorts.
Services include astrological readings, energy work, chakra balancing, guided self-reflective inquiry, herbal rituals, intuitive card readings, and massage sessions.
Workshops and self-guided explorations are available for weekend or week-long visits. A visitor pass for a day costs $357 for those not staying overnight.
3. Wilbur Hot Springs
Address: 3375 Wilbur Springs Road, Williams, CA 95987
Price: Prices start at $59.
There is no schedule for overnight guests at Wilbur Hot Springs. Relax in the beautiful scenery of the bathing areas or stare into the starry night.
The bathing area is private and clothing optional, where guests can enjoy tranquility and solitude. Because of capacity restrictions, day use of the hot springs, pool, sauna, and nature preserve is limited.
You can make reservations for $59 on weekdays and $65 on weekends. Overnight guests can also book campsites, cabins, private rooms, and hotel rooms.
4. Benton Hot Springs
Address: 55137 Hwy 120, Benton, CA 93512
Price: Prices start at $75 a night.
At Benton Hot Springs in California, you can park your RV and enjoy soaking in mineral springs. It has 12 hot tub sites fed by natural hot spring water. Trees and privacy fences separate the sites of the clothing-optional baths.
In addition, Benton Hot Springs is within driving distance of the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Laws Museum, Mono Lake, Mammoth Lakes, June Lake, and Yosemite National Park.
5. Vichy Springs
Address: 2605 Vichy Springs Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
Price: The bathing rates range from $35 to $75.
This 700-acre private reserve features a country inn and hot springs resort. Included in the overnight stay is full use of the naturally carbonated “Vichy” mineral baths, hot soaking pool, and Olympic size swimming pool.
Non-overnight guests can also purchase passes starting at $35 for two hours and up to $75 for all-day use.
You can also go on many trails and learn about the history of these ancient springs.
Keep in Mind: While in California, make sure to stop by Glass Beach! Here’s what you need to know About California’s Glass Beach Before You Go
6. River Oaks Hot Springs Spa
Address: 800 Clubhouse Drive, Paso Robles, CA 93446
Price: Spa and soak packages start at $28 per person.
Guests can choose from massage therapy, face and skin therapy, waxing, Artesian mineral spas, and special packages for an afternoon at River Oaks Hot Springs Spa.
A one-hour private mineral spa costs $28 per person. If you’d like a wine tasting with your soaking, relax in the tub with a flight of five two-ounce tastings for $65 a person.
7. Glen Ivy Hot Springs
Address: 25000 Glen Ivy Road, Temescal Valley, CA 92883
Price: Rates and treatments start at $85.
For daily admission to the pools and grounds at Glen Ivy Hot Springs in California, guests can pay $85 for a day pass. Add-ons include massages, facials, juice cleanses, and more.
You can enjoy several 104-degree mineral baths, a lounge pool, a saline pool, hot and cold plunge pools, a lap pool, Roman baths, and more.
8. The Spring Resort & Spa
Address: 12699 Reposo Way, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
Price: Rates at these hot springs in California start at $125.
At the Spring Resort & Spa, guests can access three mineral springs with naturally heated waters.
These waters are some of the hottest in the region, emerging at 170 degrees. They then get cooled and fed into the pools where the minerals can easily absorb into your skin.
With a spa service of 50 minutes or more, guests also receive two-hour access to the mineral pools and saunas.
9. Harbin Hot Springs
Address: 18424 Harbin Springs Road, Middletown, CA 95461
Price: A 6-hour day visit costs $33 to $45 for adults.
A visit to Harbin Hot Springs in California means time away from devices and spent relaxing in nature how you choose.
Guests can soak in the clothing-optional spring-fed pools, sunbathe on the deck, or explore the garden, creek, or hiking trails.
It also features an on-site cafe, yoga classes, and a spa where you can schedule massages. You can also book caravans, cottages, and domes for nightly stays.
10. Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs
Address: 1507 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515
Price: The mineral bath treatments range from $169 to $309.
Dr. Wilkinson’s Bakyard Resort has provided wellness and relaxation since 1952 with mineral pools, massages, overnight accommodations, and a delectable restaurant.
The spa and baths range from mud baths or couples’ mineral baths to beer brew mineral baths. These hot springs in California may rejuvenate your body and soul.
Best Remote Hot Springs in California: Wild Willy’s
Unlike the filtered, commercial hot springs mentioned above, Wild Willy’s is a beautiful remote hot spring in California. Even though it’s in the remote region of Mammoth Lakes, you can easily drive to it.
The bumpy dirt road will lead you to a small parking lot, where you’ll find a boardwalk. After walking about ten minutes down the boardwalk, you’ll come to the first hot springs. The best time to visit is May to October, when the outside temperatures remain comfortable.
Since the area is undeveloped public land, it’s free to access. But remember that it has no amenities, bathrooms, or trash cans. If you have trash, make sure to take it back out with you.
Should You Visit These Hot Springs in California for a Soak?
If you want a relaxing romantic getaway, don’t miss these hot springs in California. You can add a couples’ massage or a mud bath to your weekend as you reconnect and enjoy each other’s company.
Or, if you feel worn down, exhausted, and need a pick-me-up, consider booking a night or two at one of these resorts to enjoy the amenities of the mineral pools and other services. You can leave feeling refreshed and reinvigorated.
Is there a particular resort with hot springs in California that you’d like to try?